Yes And Friend: An Improv Therapy Group exercise
Here’s a way to practice Yes And, while being able to name and celebrate what we look for in a friend.
Players are in small groups of about four people. Imagine that the four of you are best friends. You’ve known each other a long time. You love getting together, and doing things together. There is a fifth of you. Another friend whom you all love. Invent this friend together using Yes And*. Give them all the qualities you like in a friend, as you talk about how great they are, and what you all love about them. Also, name them.
*Using Yes And means saying YES, repeating the previous statement, saying AND, adding to the creation.
Sample of play:
Angela: I just love Tandra. She’s not at all judgemental.
Lee: YES she’s not judgemental AND she’s a good listener.
Rick: YES she’s a great listener AND she can make ex lovers disappear…
Continue for a few minutes until each team has had time to give their friend a few great qualities. Then each group tells the class about the friend they have created.
Some qualities are funny like being able to make exes disappear. Other qualities are things we really appreciate in a friend, and things we strive to be as good friends such as not being judgemental and being a good listener. We can learn what we value in friendship through creating an ideal friend together.
The next step is to plan a party for this friend. Again using Yes And, plan a party that your friend would love. Because they are such good friends, and they know some of us are in recovery, this will be a recovery friendly celebration.
Sample of play:
Angela: Let’s invite everyone Tandra loves to the party.
Lee: YES let’s invite everyone Tandra loves to the party, and let’s have the party at a guitar shop.
Rick: YES let’s have her party at a guitar shop, AND let’s serve salami and cheese…
Continue for a couple minutes until the party has some great details planned.
Of course you had a photographer at this amazing party, so please choose five photos of the party to share with us. The photos will be frozen human pictures in the style of the improv game “Slide Show.”
Sample of play:
Photo 1: Here’s a picture of everyone in the guitar shop (players pose as if they are at a party in a guitar shop)
Photo 2: Here’s a photo of Tandra eating all the salami.
Photo 3: Here’s a photo of Tandra listening to all of our stories.
Photo 4: Here’s a photo of the dance we all did at the party.
Photo 5: And here’s a photo of a puppy jumping out of Tandra’s cake.
Ending in a low-stakes performance of the photos is a great way to build confidence and team building skills as the teams work together to create and show us their awesome friend and party.
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